First Lady Dr. Jill Biden revealed the 2022 White House Holiday Decor on November 28th, announcing this year’s theme of “We the People.” Each room in the White House is decorated to “represent what brings us together during the holidays and throughout the year,” Dr. Biden said in a speech at the unveiling ceremony, standing alongside National Guard families in honor of the Bidens’ late son, Beau (himself a former member of the Guard).
Mirrored ornaments and reflective lights are visible in nearly every room, inviting viewers to see themselves in the White House, and find themselves “in the great story of America,” as the Bidens stated in a welcome letter in the 2022 White House Holiday Guide.
“The soul of our nation is and always has been ‘We the People,’” Dr. Biden says. “And that is what has inspired this year’s White House holiday decorations. The values that unite us can be found all around you: a belief in possibility and optimism and unity. Room by room, we represent what brings us together during the holidays and throughout the year.”
“We may celebrate different holidays, we may sing different songs or say different prayers, but our shared American values endure season after season. May the promise of ‘We the People’ light our path forward into the new year and bring us together always.”
The East Wing represents “Honor and Remembrance,” featuring bells to symbolize the unifying, healing power of music. The columns and beams of the East Wing Lobby are lined with greenery and red cardinals, which signify the presence of lost loved ones. The first Christmas trees featured on the White House Tour are covered in mirrored Gold Star ornaments inscribed with the names of fallen service members. In the East Colonnade, wintery birch trees, glowing lanterns, and handmade woodland animals evoke the feeling of tranquility after the winter’s first snowfall.
The Library features decor inspired by literature, history, and education alongside a copy of the Declaration of Independence, printed circa 1845. In the Vermeil room, a theme of “Kindness and Gratitude” comes together with piles of gifts from Operation Gratitude, a non-profit organization that delivers packages to deployed troops, first responders, and military families. If you look closely, you’ll see illustrations of the Biden family’s pets, Commander and Willow.
The China room evokes family traditions passed down through generations, with decor inspired by a grandmother’s baking tools. In the East Room, “Nature and Recreation” are honored with groupings of snow-covered fir trees and representations of National Parks from around the country. The decor in the Green Room is inspired by familiar carols, with sleigh bells, hand bells, and jingle bells all around.
In the Blue Room, “Unity and Hope” are represented by renderings of the official birds from all 57 states, territories, and the District of Columbia. This room features the grandest centerpiece of the White House holiday season, an 18.5-foot Concolor Fir from Auburn, Pennsylvania. The Red Room projects the comfort, peace, and strength we find in faith, while the State Dining Room embodies the idea of “We the People’” as the promise of the next generation, featuring ornaments crafted as self-portraits by the students of the 2021 Teachers of the Year from across the country.
A menorah created by the Executive Residence Carpentry Shop was a new addition to the decor this year, made of wood removed from the White House in the 1950s during the Truman renovation. Finally, the 2022 Gingerbread White House adds a sugar cookie replica of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall alongside the White House replica. Both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were signed at Independence Hall.
Planning for the White House holiday theme began back in the spring, and Dr. Biden chose the theme by June. It always takes months of preparation to conceptualize and create a holiday display of this scale and prestige. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, more than 150 volunteers spent countless hours decorating the public rooms. The decor includes 77 Christmas trees, 83,615 holiday lights, 25 classic wreaths, and thousands of garlands, ornaments, and displays.
The annual White House gingerbread house is made of 20 sheets of sugar cookie dough, 30 sheets of gingerbread dough, 30 pints of chocolate, 100 pounds of sugary pastille, and 40 pounds of royal icing.